BTC - European Parliament to Vote on the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive

European Parliament to Vote on the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive

The European Parliament on the 13th February will vote for legislative revisions to the current EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD). This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity, the 3rd directive was voted on 17 December 2005. The proposed revised Anti-Money Laundering Directive should have a tremendous impact on the battles against corruption, drug trafficking, tax evasion and a range of other criminal activities all currently facilitated by the ease in which money can still be laundered across Europe today.

The draft EU AMLD would, in part, require all companies registered in the EU to hold details of who really owns and controls them – their beneficial owners. This might not sound like much but consider this: in Europe less personal information is asked of a company opening a bank account than there is of an individual applying for a driver’s license, to rent a property or to simply obtain a library card.

As a result, many companies are opened in names not associated with that of the person who really owns or controls them. And once a bank account has been opened in a false name, if illegal activity is suspected it is almost impossible to follow the money laundering criminal money trail back to the true beneficial owner.

UK Companies Trust and Transparency

Various reports and analysis of the UK’s system of Companies House receiving all information in good faith, by-passing the Money Laundering Regulations, have confirmed that the trust and transparency of company structures needs to be radically overhauled.

As such a consultation document for changes to the way companies and Companies House had been released by the UK Government with many proposals concerning the Trust and Transparency of UK Companies. The changes from this consultation will mean bringing amendments to the Companies Act 2006.

by qualified-majority voting.

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